National Medal of Honor Day

One of the highest and most prestigious military decorations that the United States gives to service members is the Medal of Honor. This award is given to individuals who demonstrate the highest level of heroism and sacrifice for their country. On March 25th, National Medal of Honor Day is celebrated to recognize the sacrifices of those who have received this award.

The History of National Medal of Honor Day

This holiday was first celebrated in 1991 when George H.W. Bush signed Public Law 101-564, proclaiming March 25th to be National Medal of Honor Day. This law had just been passed the previous year when the 101st U.S. Congress passed it in the fall of 1990. It’s a holiday that has been celebrated every year since.

The History of the Medal of Honor

The first Medal of Honor ever to be established was one introduced for the Department of the Navy in 1861. This was followed by the Department of the Army’s version the following year. On March 3, 1863, Congress made the Medal of Honor a permanent decoration and authorized it for U.S. Army officers. Over the years, this award has changed somewhat—at one point being made out of copper and coated with bronze. Today, this military award is considered to be the highest award a service member can receive in the U.S. military.

Interesting Facts About the U.S. Medal of Honor

We’ve found some interesting facts about the Medal of Honor, so we decided to list some of the more fascinating ones below for all of our readers to enjoy.

  • Only one woman has ever received the Medal of Honor—her name was Mary Edwards Walker.
  • The General-in-Chief of the Union Army during the Civil War scoffed at the idea of the Medal of Honor—saying that it was too reminiscent of European military traditions.
  • The only U.S. President to receive the Medal of Honor was Theodore Roosevelt—he received the award posthumously.
  • The youngest soldier to be awarded the Medal of Honor was just 11 years old. His name was Willie Johnston.
  • This award might be called the Congressional Medal of Honor by many people, but it’s actually named just the Medal of Honor.

Observing National Medal of Honor Day

A person can observe this holiday by ensuring that they remember Medal of Honor recipients on this day. It’s a good day to learn about the history of this medal and the people who have received it over the years. All over the United States, Medal of Honor celebrations are held as well. It’s also a good day to use the hashtag #NationalMedalOfHonorDay on your social media accounts to give thanks to Medal of Honor recipients and to raise the profile of this day.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 25 Monday
Next year (2025)
March 25 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
March 25 Saturday
Appreciation & Honor